West Region Support Team

AJ Cecchettini, Hortau Automation Specialist

AJ Cecchettini

West Coast, Automation Specialist

AJ is the automation specialist for the West Coast, handling all of the design, implementation and service of automation and flow-meter monitoring projects.

He is a graduate of Cal State University Monterey Bay, with a Master’s Of Science in Coastal Watershed Science and Policy, with a concentration in marine ecology.

Prior to joining Hortau, AJ worked on a number of highly technical research projects involving in situ measurements and collaboration.

  • (805) 550-7581
Ben Smith Director of Grower Support

Benjamin Smith

Director of Grower Support & Irrigation Advising

Ben is Hortau’s Director of Grower Support & Irrigation Advising.

Ben grew up on a small dairy farm in northern Utah, where he spent most of his summers in the alfalfa and corn fields shoveling dirt, desperately trying to get the water to flood the fields evenly. He knew that there had to be a better way.

Ben went to Utah State University and received a B.S. degree in Crop Science with a minor in Soil Science. He has spent time working for irrigation equipment manufacturers and in production agriculture; installing irrigation systems, maintaining existing systems, and scheduling irrigations over large acreages.

  • (559) 554-4607
Brian Hanson

Brian Hanson

Kern County, Grower Support

Grower Support specialist Brian Hanson was born and raised in Bakersfield and currently resides in Shafter.

He followed a passion for ag to Bakersfield College, and then CSU Chico, where he studied Animal Science. Throughout college he worked with a PCA, and completed an internship focused on hay and cattle production.

After college, he worked four years on a U.S.F.S. Hotshot crew fighting wildfires. He began working as a Field Technician for Hortau installing and maintaining equipment in the field throughout Kern County.

As a Grower Support specialist, Brian is committed to ensuring that all aspects of the Hortau platform are supported and always available to resolve any needs.

  • (661) 703-8300

Brian Henriott

Irrigation Advisor - Northern California

Brian Henriott is Hortau’s Irrigation Advisor for Mid to Northern Central Valley.

He is a native Californian originally from the Bay Area. He has had a passion for plants from the start, working for a local nursery as a teenager and then continuing with that passion into college and his professional life.

Brian attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, majoring in horticultural production as an undergrad and then in plant protection as a grad student. At Cal Poly, Brian developed a love of entomology, eventually transitioning that interest into a two-year lecturer position at Cal Poly.

After college, Brian worked for four years on the Central Coast as a harvest manager in the vegetable industry.

  • 805-215-2135

Cord Nunez

Central Coast, Business Development Manager

Cord has lived on the Central Coast for the past 10 years.
He was born in New Mexico, where he worked during the summer on the family ranch in Northern New Mexico. He attended AIU for Business Administration and Hartnell College in Salinas for agriculture.
He is passionate about his community and the future of sustainable ag.

  • (831) 331-7370
Danny Giacomini

Danny Giacomini

Central Coast, Sales Development Rep

Danny Giacomini was born and raised in Los Altos, California.

After graduating from Cal Poly with a degree in Business Marketing, he made the easy decision to stay in San Luis Obispo and bring his IOT, inside sales, and marketing experience to Hortau.

Currently, Danny works as a sales development representative, working with new farming operations to see if they are a fit for Hortau’s precision irrigation management system.

  • (805) 545-5994, ext. 332

Derek Gagne

West Region Service Manager

An early employee of Hortau, Derek Gagne is the West Region Service Manager, based out of the company’s U.S. headquarters in San Luis Obispo, Calif.

He currently manages Hortau’s dedicated team of U.S. technicians, and has traveled as far as Morocco to install systems and train both regional irrigation specialists and growers on how to use Hortau’s platform.

Service is Derek’s number one priority. If growers have an issue with the Hortau irrigation management platform, he recommends they contact him via the information below and he’d be happy to help troubleshoot their issues, or have a technician or grower support specialist visit their ranch to resolve the problem.

  • (805) 545-5994

Derek Toschi

Irrigation Advisor - Bakersfield Area

A certified PCA, Derek graduated from Cal Poly with a degree in Agricultural and Environmental Plant Sciences, Plant Protection.

He worked previously as a Ranch Evaluation Specialist with Deerpoint Group, evaluating sites, making tissue and soil analysis reports and fertilizer recommendations.

Derek also worked as a spray technician for Pacific Ag Research, and as a researcher scouting crops for disease and pest pressure with Dupont Crop Protection.

  • 661-332-2590
Dustin Gonella Hortau Growers Support

Dustin Gonella

SANTA CRUZ & MONTEREY COUNTIES, Grower Support, Technician

Dustin Gonella is a Cal Poly San Luis Obispo grad with a degree in horticulture and crop science. He worked as a PCA for nine years prior to joining the Hortau team.

Dustin grew up on his family’s farm in Merced County where he gained experience in almonds and row crops from an early age.

As a Grower Support specialist in the Salinas and Watsonville area, Dustin is committed to ensuring that all aspects of the Hortau platform are supported in the high demands of the territory.

  • (831) 428-4327

Gabriel Bautista

Irrigation Advisor - Central Valley

Gabriel was born and raised in Fresno County where he grew up around agriculture. Growing up he participated in FFA activities and also worked summer jobs in agriculture.

Gabriel studied Plant Science at the California State University of Fresno and has hands-on labor and management experience growing organic berries for a grower on the Central Coast. He currently provides irrigation management advising in California’s Central Valley.

  • (805) 868-3165

Jaxson Toschi

Central Coast, Sales Development Rep

Jaxson Toschi is a sales development representative for Hortau, based out of its U.S. headquarters in San Luis Obispo, Calif. Starting with the company in 2018, he works with new farming operations to see if they are a fit for Hortau’s precision irrigation management and scheduling services.

Originally from Grass Valley, Calif. with family roots in agriculture, Jaxson previously worked in the cleantech sector with Solar City out of its Central Coast branch.

A graduate of Cal Poly, Jaxson studied soil science and earned a degree in Environmental Management, with a concentration in Environmental Impact Mitigation Strategies.

  • (805) 545-5994, ext. 334
Hortau VP of Sales Jeremy Otto

Jeremy Otto

VP of Sales

Currently managing Hortau’s sales force in California, Jeremy is a graduate of California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo with a B.S in Agribusiness.

Jeremy joined the Hortau team in 2007.  He is a native Californian and grew up in a agricultural family. Along with an entrepreneurial spirit, Jeremy’s knowledge of Ag, technology and science helped Hortau establish itself as an industry leader.  As the sole representative in California for many years his role was to sell, service and develop the market. Today he manages seven sales representatives with a focus on business development.

  • (805) 748-5505
John Bison

John Bison

Kern and Tulare Counties, Region Manager

John Bison was born and raised in Kern county and grew up with a passion for agriculture. He was very active in 4H and FFA, as well as many Ag leadership programs throughout high school.

After high school, John attended Cal Poly SLO and majored in animal science and also studied viticulture and Agbusiness.

John comes to Hortau with over 15 years of agricultural sales experience, and he contributes his success to building strong relationships and a pride in knowing he’s helping his customers become more sustainable and profitable.

  • (661) 303-4081

Jonathan Rocha

Irrigation Advisor - Fresno Area

A certified PCA and CCA, Jonathan graduated from Cal Poly in 2011 with a degree in Agricultural Business.

He worked previously as Agronomic Support Specialist with Gar Tootelian, Inc., helping create custom nutrient programs for several growers.

Jonathan also worked as a field issues specialist and field scout, and helped the company remain current on precision ag technologies.

  • 559-970-2289

Romain Langlois

Central Coast, Grower Support, Technician

Romain Langlois is a technician and grower support specialist on California’s Central Coast, and was the company’s technician of the year in 2017.

Born and raised in Toulouse, France, Romain’s passion for ag began on his grandfather’s farm in France. He studied at Cal Poly, majoring in crop science and worked in strawberry production before coming to Hortau.

Working in everything from wine grapes to tree fruit, coastal berries to vegetables, Langlois was a technician for 2.5 years with Hortau before joining the grower support team.

  • (805) 540-8112

Ruz Shokrollahi

Merced, Stanislaus & San Joaquin Counties, Region Manager

Ruz grew up in California and graduated from Cal Poly SLO in 2012 with his B.S. in Horticulture and Crop Science. While attending college, Ruz was the recipient of the San Francisco Orchid Society’s scholarship award for his dedicated work in caring for the college’s orchids, and held the position of HCS club president.

After college, Ruz worked as a farm manager in Kern, Kings, and Tulare counties, where he managed about 15,000 acres of producing pistachios, 3,000 acres of producing almonds, and a few thousand of non-producing pistachios and almonds combined. He maintains both PCA and QAL through continuing education, adding relevant categories when possible.

  • (949) 331-7240

Travis Goldman

Irrigation Advisor - Central Valley

Travis Goldman was born and raised in Watsonville. He graduated from UC Davis and has worked throughout the Salinas Valley and Central Valley as a service technician, grower support specialist and an irrigation management advisor at Hortau.

As an Irrigation Management Advisor in California’s Central Valley, Travis is committed to ensuring grower get the most out of Hortau’s irrigation management platform and scheduling services.

  • (831) 588-9740

Pacific Northwest, High Plains, Midwest, Northeast, Canada

Christian Plante, Hortau Vice President of Engineering

Christian Plante

Vice President of Engineering

Christian brings more than two decades of high-tech management experience to Hortau. A graduate from the University of Laval, his career started in Quebec City where he founded Anillusion with a former colleague from Exfo. The company developed a technology to enable 3D visualization on PCs. This ultimately led him to complete his MBA at Queen’s University in Ontario before landing in Silicon Valley, where he has lived since 2000.

In California, he has been involved with large corporations such as Altera and Broadcom in addition to smaller startups, where he worked on semiconductor projects in various markets such as wireless infrastructure, industrial automation and digital living rooms.

Bruno Laliberté, Hortau CFO

Bruno Laliberté

CFO

Bruno has been the CFO at Hortau since April 2006, guiding Hortau through multiple rounds of financing and company growth of about 50% in each of the past five years.

Bruno is a graduate of the University of Laval, with a Bachelor in Business Administration Degree in Accounting and Finance. Previously, he was Director of Finance for Rololight Corporation and Labcal Technologies

Yannick Marcoux, Hortau Vice President of Operations

Yannick Marcoux

Vice President of Operations

Yannick is in charge of Hortau’s daily operations covering procurement, production, distribution, installation and technical service.

A graduate of the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières with a Masters degree in engineering, Yannick has worked with Hortau since 2013. Prior to joining Hortau, Yannick was founder and owner of Biplan Consulting, an operational performance optimization company. Yannick has also provided training on Lean and Six Sigma for managers through École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS) continuous education program, and worked for Bombardier Aerospace as a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt, and for the consulting firm Createch Group as senior consultant.

Ryan Schutt

Ryan Schutt

Pacific Northwest, Region Manager

Ryan was born on a mint farm in the lower Yakima Valley of Washington, working on the family farm all the way through high school.

He worked in construction and law enforcement before going on to be the water resource manager for Roza Irrigation District for 14 years.

After a major injury and a number of surgeries, Ryan was inspired to go back to college and earned a degree in agriculture business and was later employed as a licensed pest consultant.

Ryan enjoyed his relationships with his farmers as a consultant and enjoyed everyday at work. Soils and irrigation was Ryan’s favorite topic, which is why he accepted an offer to work with Hortau and help growers in Oregon and Washington improve their irrigation management programs.

  • (509) 781-1006

Jean Caron

Co-Founder

Jean Caron is co-Founder of Hortau, and chief scientist at the company.
He is also Chair of the precision irrigation research program hosted at Laval University and in several U.S. institutions.
Jean has been a Professor of soil physics at the Soil Science and Agrifood Engineering Department of Laval University, in Québec, Canada, since 1992, Fellow of the Canadian Society of Soil Science (2009) and Recipient of the Joseph Bombardier Award for his technological innovations (2008).

Hortau CEO Jocelyn Boudreau

Jocelyn Boudreau

CEO, Co-Founder

Jocelyn Boudreau is CEO and co-founder of Hortau. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering and a Masters degree in soil physics from Laval University (Québec, Canada). Early in his career, Jocelyn worked at Laval University as a research assistant, helping with the development of a sub-irrigation system in capillary mat for container crops, greenhouse and nursery.

He then acted as a tech consultant for various irrigation, soil physics and technical sales projects, before co-founding Hortau in 2002. He played a key role in the company’s start-up phase, from the business plan and strategy, financing, building and managing a high-level team, as well as the execution of the company’s growth strategy.

Jocelyn is currently responsible for managing the company’s human and financial resources, coordinating the team, strategic planning and also preparing and managing the company’s board meetings. Jocelyn currently lives with his family in San Luis Obispo, Calif, operating out of Hortau’s U.S. headquarters, where he works closely with the sales, marketing and tech support teams on the company’s growth territory.

Doug Larson

High Plains, Region Manager

As a Colorado State University Alum and licensed PCA, Doug Larson came to Hortau with over 30 years of hands-on experience in the industry of agriculture.

Through his years as a 4th generation Colorado Farmer, Agricultural Educator, Irrigation Sales and Service Technician and President/CEO of an irrigation distribution company covering the Western United States and Mexico, Doug has developed a unique set of skills and experiences specializing in the use of advanced irrigation systems, including the use of soil tension technology in the efficient and sustainable application of ag water.

Doug’s hands on style and ability to develop personal relationships, along with his love for the industry and strong desire to contribute to its growth and sustainability are key to the success of his clients, as well as to that of he and his family.

  • (970) 481-0655

Cody Jones

Midwest, Northeast, Region Manager

Hortau’s sales representative and technical support specialist for the Midwest and Northeast, Cody has a degree in environmental Science from St. Norbert College in De Pere.

A Wisconsin native, Cody has worked in cranberry marshes and traditional row crops for both private farming operations and precision irrigation companies based in Wisconsin.

Cody understands the unique challenges Northern growers face throughout the seasons, and is committed to helping growers improve their farming practices.

  • (920) 246-9130

Caroline Letendre

Canada

Caroline has a degree in Agricultural Economics and an MBA from Laval University.

She counts numerous experiences in agriculture such as nursery, dairy farming and processing, in-vitro culture, farm management training and trade missions. She speaks French, English and Spanish.

Caroline has been part of the Hortau team since 2009. She is currently in charge of direct sales and developing new markets in Canada, Midwest and Northeastern U.S. She has worked extensively with cranberry growers from coast to coast in both Canada and the U.S., helping them improve production and the profitability of their operations.

  • 418-836-7927 x229

Francis Desaulniers

Canada

Francis has an environmental ag degree from Laval University. He also has a degree in ag mechanical engineering from the Institut de la technologie agroalimentaire (ITA).

During his studies, Francis received several distinctions and awards of excellence for his work. Throughout college, Francis interned at Hortau in 2013-14, and re-joined the team in 2016 as a sales representative and technical support specialist.

  • (418) 836-7927 ex. 231